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live. the military strategy, the number of special ops is limited. what impact will they have? and the high stakes of the mission, nbc's bill kneely with a first hand look at refugees fleeing the violence in syria. we start with that deployment on this friday. the white house this afternoon announcing an increase in u.s. involvement in syria. including u.s. boots on the ground for the first time in the war-torn country. >> the president does expect that they can have an impact in intensifying our strategy for building the capacity of local forces inside of syria to taking the fight on the ground to isil in their own country. >> the plan involves a small number of special operations forces stationed in northern syria along with increased air strikes against isis. the announcement coming as secretary of state john kerry in vienna right now working with
international players to as he puts it, quote, chart a course out of hell. this is what the secretary of state had to say just a few moments ago. >> the answer to the syrian civil war is not found in a military alliance with assad from our point of view. but i am convinced that it can be found through a broadly supported diplomatic initiative aimed at a negotiated political transition consistent with the geneva communique. >> nbc's ron allen is at the white house for us this afternoon. ron, i want to start by playing something that president obama said back in 2007, excuse me, 2013 about the syrian conflict. take a listen. >> i will not put american boots on the ground in syria. i will not pursue an open-ended action like iraq or afghanistan. i will not pursue a prolonged
air campaign like libya or kosovo. >> i will not put american troops on the ground in syria. how's the white house explaining that this afternoon, ron? >> reporter: with some difficulty and by parsing some words and by insisting that what they meant by no boots on the ground was no long-term offensive combat operations as was the case in iraq. but that i don't think is what most people understood the president to be saying when he said that and clearly now things have changed f. you walk to military analysts they tell you there's boots on the ground in iraq and syria for sometime because it's simply impossible, they would say, to win this fight against isis by carrying out air strikes, there have been some 8,000 air strikes to date over the past year or more and talking to the administration about where things stand, they said they're building on what is some progress. that they're making in the fight against isis.
what they say, also, is they're going to build on the mission that they have under way which is essentially meaning they're training, assist and equip local forces on the ground and while that may sound like somewhat removed from the battlefield, in fact, what we're hearing now and what a lot of analysts have been saying is that this is going to put u.s. troops right on the front lines with the local soldiers, with the iraqi soldiers and kurdish fighters right up against isis as they try to take the fight to isis. so, today, what most analysts are saying is that this is a significant escalation in the american involvement there. especially in syria and also in northern iraq. on the other hand, there are critics of the administration saying this is not nearly enough. that this does not send a bold signal to the enemy that the united states is serious about taking on this fight. there have been some calling for a no-fly zone and to establish humanitarian safe zones in iraq and syria for those hundreds of
thousands of refugees who have been fleeing that conflict in recent weeks and months. a flow which shows no sign of ending, by the way. so while the administration is trying to say that it's sticking to its mission, making some progress, it's facing criticism on all fronts, from those saying they're an enigma and a promise not put boots on the ground and others saying the administration should be doing much, much more. craig? >> nbc's ron allen this afternoon from 1600 pennsylvania, thanks as all. ali aruzi in ve enthat following the talks there. ali, whenat's been the genre action of the nations gathered there to talk about ongoing conflict in syria? >> reporter: well, craig, they agree there has to be a new diplomatic process laid out for the conflict in syria and can't agree on the fate of president assad. secretary kerry said no way for assad to unite the syrian people
and said that rush why's position and iran's position was different to that of the united states and they have to agree to disagree. sergei lavrov said there shouldn't be preconditionses of assad having to stay or go and should be decided bety syrian people. a position that's been reiterated by the iranians here. recently the deputy foreign minister of iran said similar things about that, said that the syrian people have to vote, assad doesn't have to be there forever and has to be a choice of the syrian people. he also said that because of iran's efforts in the talks when the statement was issued today about the process, there was no timetable for the removal of assad and because of iran's influence. so there's still a lot of negotiating to be done here. the two sides have vastly different positions on what they want for syria's future. but they have agreed to meet here again within two weeks to keep the dialogue going, to see where they can get. craig? >> ali there in vienna, thank
you so much. kerr simmons with us now, recently sometime along fighters in syria. always good to have you, my friend. let's start with this characterization of the strategy there. >> yeah. >> this idea that the white house is calling it an enhancement. >> right. >> this seems to be a fairly major shift. no? >> looks like it, doesn't it? i think there's scratching of heads at the semantics that the white house are using in that part of is syria. you can see me there in the part of syria we are talking about where the u.s. special forces are expected to go. this area of syria is controlled by the kurds, a group of the ypg. they really do have a pretty good hold on it. they have, though, a front line with isis that runs about 250 miles including some places like hasakah where i went and they're in urban combat with isis. and when's interesting, craig, by the way, though, is that in that area, they have a tacet
agreement with the syrian government that they're going to fight against isis. if the u.s. is sending in special forces as we are told they are, to support the kurds, what do those special forces do if they come in contact with assad's forces? are they implicitly cooperating with assad's forces simply being there, cooperating with the kurds? >> one thing probably -- excuse me, certainly should not be lost as we continue this conversation, the more than 220,000 people who have been killed since this conflict started. >> right. >> more than four years ago. there's been so much talk, senator graham on our air a couple of hours ago talking about a no-fly zone. >> yeah. >> and how much he believes that would help the situation. >> right. >> based on what you saw, what would be the measurable impact of a no-fly zone? >> it's so right to talk about the number of people who have been killed in this civil war,
over the past four years and the important thing to understand from that is that, you know, there's some real politic here. in the end, the you allowed the assad government, the whole administration to fall, you would have a refugee wave that is way beyond anything that you have seen in europe so far. so while until recently the u.s. and the west has been saying we need to see president assad replaced, it's very difficult to try and continue to hold that line when you have the iranians supporting him, the russians supporting him. coming the question of a no-fly zone, the question you have to ask yourself is, how would the u.s. and the west put that in place given the fact that the russians are flying there, supporting president assad? >> you've been there. recently. you have seen this crisis from the front lines. >> right. >> what in your opinion, and i know this puts you in a tough spot but i'll put in a tough
spot. >> that is my job. >> what should we be doing there that we are not doing? what would help the situation most right now in syria? >> well, the kurds who are in control of that part of syria are pretty much the only folk who is are really pushing isis, putting isis on the back foot. the assad government would say that they are, too, but as you know they have needed the help of iran and russia because they're seriously weakened. so that, arming those kurts to take on isis is probably something that you have to do. we have been doing that and now we're effectively saying we'll support them but simply doing that puts you in a difficult position of fur i can. the kurds trying to have their own country. that is going to raise questions with iran, with iraq, with turkey. so, it is such a difficult complex civil war in which every
move that the u.s. makes has ramifications that perhaps the u.s. wouldn't want. >> nbc's keir simmons with a unique perspective for us this afternoon and spending sometime recently alongside fighter there is in syria, thank you, my friend. >> you bet. joining me now to talk about the foreign policy, retired navy commander criss harmon, a senior naval ianalyst and anthony cordsman, center for strategic and international studies. thank you to you both. >> let's start with you, if i could, commander. this idea that the stated u.s. strategy is to degrade and defeat isis, what does today's announcement do for that stated goal? >> nothing whatsoever. look. i agree with the goal of degrading and defeating isis but the asets against the problem are wholly inadequate. look at it in four and a half
years of the syrian civil war, around 300,000 civilians dead, around 4 million civilians external refugees, 11 million have become internally displaced persons and 50 special forces makes no difference whatsoever. we're facing bad options. you could say it's bad options, horrible options and impossible options. the's no clean decision here but the 50 guys in syria makes no difference whatsoever in the short term or the long term. >> anthony, i want to -- i mentioned senator graham. he was on with andrea mitchell. i want to play a snippet -- oh, chris, let me stay with you. i think we lost anthony for a short time there. >> okay. >> the military adviser title, this is what the white house calling them, what does that mean practically on the ground? >> i think that's a great question. i think the american people might not understand exactly what is happening here. you hear special operations. you think s.e.a.l. team 6 going
in to kill bin laden. that's not what they're doing. they're capable. they're top-end trainers and there to do is train, advise, assist, help the residents peshmerga or others friendly or moderate to the united states. these guys are not going in to conduct front of the line special operations targeted hit missions. they could do that if called upon but with only 50 guys, that's not enough force structure to do it. what i see this as is an extension of concept training someone else to do the fight for us. i just don't think at this stage of the bat this will's a realistic tactic or strategy. >> anthony, i believe we have you now. can you hear me okay? >> yes. >> good. i want to ask the question that i think a lot of americans are probably wondering and probably wondered far few years in this country. why does syria matter to us? why should we care about what happens in that country? >> i think you can't ignore the
fact you have a humanitarian disaster where half the population is affected. but you also have the fact that you can't separate syria from iraq, from the stable flow of oil out of the gulf which effects something like 46% of our imparts because it goes to china, japan, south korea. you can't ignore the impact on israel or nato ally like turkey. you can't ignore the signals that this sends if the united states does not at least try to solve this situation and show it's actively concerned to basically all of the world. it would be nice if we were not the world's only superpower. in some ways we'd lose the need for responsibility and action. but we are the world's only superpower. >> this idea that 50 special
operations troops on the ground in syria can make a difference, i do not profess to be a military expert, but that sure does seem like a very small number. >> it is a small number. i would be very careful about those numbers because it doesn't talk about the special forces and groups that are outside syria. and remember that with the end of the formal training missions outside syria, you already had a significant residual cia and special forces presence in the north and you had the support of jordan and other countries in the south. you also are sending in a-10s and f-15s, going to step up the air effort based in turkey and one thing that you have to remember is and this is a lesson ever since vietnam, we have
focused at least until now largely on trying to train and assist people in the rear. often a very small number of people forward as was the case in afghanistan who actually can help inexperienced forces that can ensure that if you provide them with arms and ammunition, they're properly used, focused on the right threat, that can provide us with intelligence and feedback, that can help in terms of air power and that alone could be critical because right now we fly about five sorties. for every sorty to use mu ninits because we don't always know what's happening on the ground. >> chris, one more to you. why not? it seems as josh earnest going out of his way to parse words and make sure that we understood that these were not in the opinion of the white house these were not combat troops.
why not just say, you know what? i have changed my mind, conditions on the ground have changed my mind for me? we are, in fact, going to have to send a handful of combat troops into syria. why not say that instead of what we heard today, chris? >> i'll preface the comments saying i don't do political analysis. the ground shifted underneath the president's feet. i would not blame him at all for coming out and saying i need to change strategy because the reality on the ground changed. as a matter of fact, our strategy has changed. we have gotten more aggressive to isis. only 1 in 5 puts weapons on target and still we are doing the best we can under the constraints we have. i don't want to say i don't support the increase in special operations. i do. i'm simply saying it's inadequate to the task at hand. the united states will get more involved because we're the only superpower as anthony pointed out capable of if not dictating the outcome in sir why and syria
shaping the outcome to a better conclusion. >> a big thanks to you both on this friday afternoon. much more on the multi-prong white house apreach against isis including reaction of lawmakers encolluding senator john mccain who commented a short time ago. first, though, possibly tornadoes, flash flooding and more to come. we're watching the skies over texas. also right now, the state department is about to release another batch of hillary clinton's e-mails. our nbc news political team sifting through the expected 7,000 pages or so. stay with us. (vo) around age 7, the glucose metabolism in a dog's brain begins to change. (ray) i'd like to see her go back to her more you know social side. she literally started changing. it was shocking. she's much more aware. (jan) she loves the food. (ray) the difference has been incredible. she wants to learn things. (vo) purina pro plan bright mind promotes alertness and mental
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>> christine draconi, the chief executive officer, the coo of the campaign apparently out. this comes as the bush campaign is having a broader restructuring. they're posedly cutting back by 40% the amount of money that they're spending on staff. she was apparently making $140,000 equivalent a year. she is not been a public face of the campaign. so this is somebody when you're the bush campaign and put a massive organization together anticipating this point in the year a front-runner, have more money coming in, the top of the polls, these sorts of things, this is a logical place to start cutting back if you need to cut salary. >> the narrative that started -- scratch that. this narrative that continued after jeb bush's most recent campaign performance at the campaign itself on life support, it would not seem that this announcement does meche to help that. >> this carries the news and hearing it of trouble.
what happened with us at the start of the year the superpac, the sort of independent thing on the side raised a ton of money. the numbers for the third quarter which came out a few weeks ago fur july, august and september of this year, the money raise third degree that period for bush when the reports came out a couple of weeks ago was a disappointing sum, stale fair amount of money and less than ben carson brought in. left him with the fourth most cash on hand of any republican. so the money problems were established a couple of weeks ago. and then add top of that the poor debate performance and then right now lifeless in the polls. these are the sorts of things to start happening when that happens. >> all right. steve kor knack we here with word that the coo of the jeb bush campaign is out. thanks as always, sir. extreme weather crippling parts of texas today. heavy storms, possible tornadoes in the central part of the state. power out ands are reported. along with severe flooding as you can see here. and there is more on the way.
homes in parts of austin preparing for what could be eight feet of flooding. this is a look above san antonio, texas. you can see houses there decimated. nbc meteorologist raphael miranda tracking it for us. >> it's a lot going on. the possible tornadoes an and severe flooding. a foot of rain since this morning. unfortunately, the rain is not over yet. you can see on the storm tracker a live radar picture. very heavy rain to the north of austin along i-35 and tracking another possible super cell here and watching it for tornadic development. just north of i-10. the rain streams on in. not as organized at this morning and the damage has been done. you can see all of these flash flood warnings, all of the red squares around austin, emergencies of onion creek. records that we have never seen, record crests along onion creek this afternoon and evening. and there are more storms
streaming in especially to the north of austin right now. the threat continues, also a tornado watch in effect until 7:00 tonight central time. here's a look at storm tracker with how much rain we have seen. the colors impressive. where you see the blue and the gray between u.s.en and new brunsfelds that's this morning. we have seen totals of a foot of rain in some spots and 12 inches of accumulation, that's pure rain water. the severe weather threat remains in effect. very busy day in texas and continuing to watch through the afternoon. craig? >> all right. thank you, sir. up next, document dump. the state department will soon release another 7,000 pages of hillary clinton's e-mails but this batch includes ones from 2012, the year that four americans were killed in benghazi. we'll be looking at that. also, dozens of u.s. special forces preparing to go into syria. what that means for the stated white house strategy to degrade and destroy.
then the escalating debate of the future of debates. gop debates specifically. why some of the republican campaigns say they want to break through from the rnc. it takes a lot of work... to run this business. but i really love it. i'm on the move all day long... and sometimes, i just don't eat the way i should. so i drink boost® to get the nutrition that i'm missing. boost complete nutritional drink has 26 essential vitamins and minerals, including calcium and vitamin d to support strong bones and 10 grams of protein to help maintain muscle. all with a great taste. i don't plan on slowing down any time soon. stay strong. stay active with boost®. ♪ everything kids touch during cold and flu season sticks with them. make sure the germs they bring home don't stick around. use clorox disinfecting products. because no one kills germs better than clorox.
and stay awake during the day. this is called non-24. learn more by calling 844-824-2424. or visit your24info.com. moment now the state department expected to release the latest batches of hillary clinton's e-mails, some 7,000 pages we're told. the nbc news team ready to pour over the e-mails. more details on the documents as soon as we get them. meanwhile, hillary clinton is in atlanta rallying the black vote. msnbc national correspondent joy reid also live in atlanta on this friday afternoon. first of all, joy, any mention from hillary when she took the stage there on the president's decision regarding syria? >> reporter: no mention of syria, craig. what we have had here is an extended discussion by former secretary of state hillary clinton about social justice and criminal justice, one of the
missions of the clinton campaign coming to atlanta, the home of the atlanta student movement in the 1960s to talk about the reforms secretary clinton says she would like to implement regarding criminal justice, reducing the crack cocaine, powder cocaine disparity, and still 18-1 embracing the idea of ban the box. something that new york state and former felons have the records clean going to apply for jobs and the student affordability that hillary clinton is talking about here today. we spoke with students at clark atlanta university yesterday. many of whom expressed a desire to hear more from secretary clinton specifically on issues of educational affordability and also about black lives matter and a few moments ago after an introduction by congressman john lewis, hillary clinton began making her remarks and interr t interrupted by a group of
protesters who began chanting black lives matter. the crowd sort of yelled over them and continued cheering and then hillary clinton actually addressed the protesters saying she wants to implement policies the actually in her words prove that black lives really do matter. this is still going on. a couple of celebrities in the house. kelly price a part of the program here today. monica, also a part of the program. usher is apparently here, as well. hillary clinton attempting the close the gap between her support from the traditional civil rights movement and younger voters. and incidentally, very quickly, craig, i spoke with our own reverend al sharpton recently to ask him he had a conversation with hillary clinton about the criminal justice reforms because they sound a lot like what national action network was calling for in the '90s and in the 2000s, early 2000s when hillary clinton in fact ran for the united states senate and coming closer to their position on criminal justice. craig? >> all right.
joy reid there in atlanta with hillary clinton and flanked by congressman lewis and the mayor of atlanta, as well. thank you. after the break, dramatic shift in u.s. policy. for the first time, american forces will be embedded with rebels and kurdish fighters inside syria and the fight against isis. also, a meeting of the minds at least ten republican campaigning converge to air the grievances about the rnc debates. two dozen my grapts drowned trying to make it to a better life. an inside look at the odds stacked against them.
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♪ everything kids touch during cold and flu season sticks with them. make sure the germs they bring home don't stick around. use clorox disinfecting products. because no one kills germs better than clorox. they will not be a combat mission. their mission is to -- >> they could find themselves in a combat situation just as we saw with the rescue mission. >> there is no denying the amount of risk they're taking on here. >> that was white house press secretary josh earnest a short time ago in an exchange of kristen welker announcing the
administration will be deploying special forces in the kurdish controlled northern portion of the syria. bringing in nbc news chief pentagon correspondent jim miklaszewski. mick, let's talk about what the administration says these 50 or 10 special forces troops are going to be doing on the ground in syria. >> well, senior defense official here at the pentagon told reporters a short time ago that, in fact, the first wave of less than 50 american commandos, special operations forces sent into syria would not engage in combat. quote, for the foreseeable future, unquote. but that once on the ground and they start to work with the kurds and syrian friendly rebels, that they would gauge as to what's possible ahead. now, according to the officials, the first group of less than 50 didn't give us a precise number will be deployed from the u.s., not iraq, when they arrive in
syria, they will be confined at least temporarily in the quasi headquarters of the friendlies, whether they're syrian arabs or the kurdish forces to train, advise and assist. and at some point, and the official did not rule out the possibility that some point in the future these forces could actually embed on combat operations and begin very slowly as they work to, again, gauge when's possible with these forces and what the americans can do to assist them. now, there was one section in this briefing in which this senior official was asked about the russians and would they present a possible threat to the americans? and the official said, look, the russians know fully well where our american forces will be and they don't consider that would be a problem. now, as you look ahead, those
forces will remain in syria for weeks, certainly less than 60 days before then they are replaced by other forces in what should become a routine rotation. craig? >> jim miklaszewski there at the pentagon, thanks. let's turn to presidential politicless for a bit. a pair of duelling memos escalating the feud of jeb bush and marco rubio. after a 112-page bush memo called marco rubio a, quote, risky bet, a new memo from marco rubio's superpac to supporters about the candidates viable and no mention of jeb bush. nbc news senior political editor mark murray in the washington bureau following the back and forth here. mark, what can we make of this? >> well, craig, i actually think it's preview of the next three or four months to see and i think people often thought that the battle for the republican
nomination at least on the establishment front was going to come down to jeb bush and marco rubio, particularly after scott walker dropped out of the republican presidential race. and yes, as you mentioned in the intro, these are two people who are close friends. marco rubio is a former protege of jeb bush's, both from florida. they know a lot of the same people and very possible and very likely that the republican nomination will come down between the two of them and as we have seen marco rubio on the move up, jeb bush on the move down. >> highlight also, mark murray, you think jeb bush is in this race for four months, as well. thank you, sir. enjoy the weekend, sir. continues to be uncertainty about how the republican debates themselves are going to work moving forward. at least ten of the republican presidential campaigns unhappy with this week's debate in the republican national committee and meeting privately on sunday in an attempt to overhaul the process. this afternoon, the rnc which was not invited to sunday's
candidate gathering announced that it is suspending its partnership with nbc news and telemundo in the debate february 26th complaining about what it called gotcha questions and a mean spirited tone on wednesday's cnbc debate. cnbc is a sister network of msnbc and nbc. this was cnbc's response to the initial post-debate criticism wednesday. quote, people who want to be president of the united states should be able to answer tough questions. nbc news released a statement about the rnc's debate decision a short time ago saying in part, quote, this is a disappointing development. however, along with our debate broadcast partners, we will work in good faith to resolve this matter with the republican party. i'm joined now for the very latest by nbc's chris jansing. >> hi, craig. >> let's talk about new
information you have. >> we have just learned it's everybody's in except for jeb bush, his campaign and he may indeed send someone. they haven't decided and making a strategic decision as they are right now in pretty much everything they do but all the other campaigns committed to sending a representative. this is no longer just serve an interparty squabble. this is an all-out battle and it's between these campaigns and the republican national committee who they feel mistreated them, very heavy handed in making decisions about these debates. and so, the rnc very pointedly not invited and i just talked to my source who told me the rnc called them several times last night, again this morning. the's no way they're letting a rep from the rnc into this meeting which is going to cover everything from the number of debates to what exactly the format will be. here's what one campaign explained to me. they said, look. they make the decisions all these debates, we don't get information about them until the last minute often so we don't
really know what we're prepping for. the prep can take three days, as many as ten staff members and incredible drain of money and resources so this month with two debates, that's six days taking away from being out in the field, from doing their campaigning, fund raising. >> yes. >> so this is going to be a really key moment for them. see if they can take the sparring that's in public, put it aside and get together in private. >> some of the campaigns have said that they would not be opposed to breaking with the rnc. what would that look like? is that something that's feez snbl. >> a couple of people i have talked to who have been deeply involved over the last 24 to 36 hours on getting this altogether said, look, they're not putting much stock in considering idle threats right now and not get the court before the horse and can we as campaigns come
together and if we can there's a difficult decision? what do you say to the rnc and the networks holding these debates? do you offer them an ultimate tum? do you say if you don't do it our way, we'll pull out? there's free publicity that's, you know, it would be very hard to see a situation where they would, you know, sort of take it to the wall but it's all going to come to a head i think on sunday. >> sunday night, washington, d.c. >> yeah. >> all right. chris, we'll stay tuned. >> thanks. smugglers, high seas, makeshift boats. our own nbc's bill neilly look at the treacherous journey out of syria. owing the kind of risk that you're comfortable with, i'd steer clear. straight talk. multiplied by 13,000 financial advisors it's how edward jones makes sense of investing.
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europe. these migrants, these, arrive safely. but so many others are not that lucky. today we learned about two more shipwrecks off the greek islands where at least 29 people drowned in the rough seas. over the past 24 hours alone. nbc's bill neilly is following the story and joins me now live from london. bill? >> reporter: good afternoon, craig. as you say, this is totally connected to the situation in syria. many people believe this crisis would, however, end with the high winds and seas that began hitting greece weeks ago. well, it didn't. people as you say are still risking their lives, their children's lives, everything. crossing the sea at an astonishing rate. 6,600 a day is latest figure and the result is more deaths, some more this morning, in fact, and more rescues. now, i witnessed a rescue v. a look at this for a taste of what refugees have and rescuers are facing.
it's a mercy mission with 100 lives at stake in rough seas. >> it's a very big one. >> reporter: the greek coast guard speeds towards refugees' whose boat is drifting. the engine broken. they are terrified. the children are screaming. they're blowing whistles. the sea's rough. the winds are strong. this boat needs to be rescued. they argue and huddle in fear dozens are children. they struggle with the swell of the sea to throw a tow rope. the rope is on. but they're still not rescued and a very, very dangerous situation. they know all about danger. they have all fled syria. their lives today, though, saved. their relief clear. they are just a few of the 3,000 a day now risking everything to reach europe. what did you think in your heart? >> i die. >> dangerous.
>> reporter: very dangerous? >> yes. >> reporter: dangerous for flimsy, rubber boats, too. crammed with migrants. they fled iraq. one of more than 20 boatloads of people to land on 1 coast in 2 hours. smugglers telling them to lie that they're syrian. to get a sigh lum more easily. everyone is saying pretend you're syrian. >> yes. pretend you're syrian. people they take care of you. >> reporter: on greek beaches, they need care. temperatures are plunging. winds and seas are rising. but it's not stopping migrants. there are five in the sea here from risking their lives. hundreds are rescued every day. many don't make it. through this mass exodus without end. now, since we filmed that, the weather has gotten much worse. we think 41 people drowned in 3 days. five boats collapsing in one day. and you can see from the pictures how if even one thing goes wrong, people can die.
for example, on wednesday, a wooden boat with around 300 people on board literally fell apart. the upper deck simply collapsing on to those below and the boat sinking. at least 19 died then. the smugglers earning millions from the people they don't want the lucrative trade to stop because of bad weather so they're offering discounts, craig, for anyone who wants to risk it. normally, you'd pay $1,200 on a tiny, inflatable boat. that's being cut to $600 in bad weather. they want to keep the boats going. they want their profits and as long as that war in syria keeps going, those people will keep fleeing and the crisis will continue. craig? >> bill neely with an up-close look at the consequences of what's happening in syria. bill, thank you so much for that, sir. do appreciate it. a couple of updates now on two airplane incidents here in the country. federal investigators in ft. lauderdale, florida, scrambling for answers trying to figure out
how a boeing 767 caught fire right before takeoff yesterday. about 50 gallons of fuel leaked on to the taxiway now under repair. airport is now under repair. airport officials made it clear that the fire never spread to the cabin or the cockpit. 21 people were hurt there. meanwhile, this story about a disruptive passenger, that passenger caused an american airlines flight to be diverted to phoenix yesterday. take a look at this tmz video that we see here. this is the passenger being escorted off the plane by police. passengers say the man was walking, he was out of his seat, making some alarming comments about the government and the september 11th attacks. members of the flight crew, a few helpful passengers, they sprang into action pretty quickly, able to detain that man
until the police took over. he was taken to a psychiatric facility for evaluation. right now, breaking news out of washington. the state department has just released a new batch of clinton e-mails, 7,000 pages worth. our teams right now sifting through those e-mails. again, 7,000 pages. it's going to take some time. we will bring you any news from those e-mails in just a bit. this is msnbc, we'll be right back. ♪ everything kids touch during cold and flu season
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>> a football field in washington state has gone from a fight over yardage, to a fight over religious freedom. seattle area high school football coach joe kennedy has been sidelined for praying on the field. it is a decision that is dividing that community. here's nbc's joe fryer. >> reporter: when the bremerton knights took the field, their assistant coach was benched. joe kennedy watched from the stands like any other fan, but in a way, he was the one with
fans. >> i'm just a guy standing up for the constitution, who happens to believe in god and prays. >> kennedy was put on administrative leave for praying on the 50 yard line after games. something he's done for years. >> he said if you want to be in here, join me. if not, it's your decision. i'm not going to force you to be in here. it's your total decision. >> but when the school district learned about the prayers last month, it ordered kennedy to stop, citing supreme court cases the district says students can pray on their own, but it's a constitutional violation of students' rights for a district employee acting as uch is to initiate prayers with students. >> these are the warriors that competed for the past 48 minutes. >> reporter: the coach abided at first and delivered a postgame motivational speech. but this month, he resumed praying after attorneys from a religious legal group told him it's okay as long as he's not
coercing students. >> he quietly expressed his faith in prayer and they voluntarily decided to join him there's no constitutional violation there. >> the school system disagreed, putting him on leaf. >> i'm a parent, an employee and it's not okay to use public funds and public resources to show boat your own personal opinions and beliefs. >> the connection with sports and prayers runs deep. >> been doing it for 22 years. i got to think that 99.9% of the teams have come to the center of the field afterwards. >> reporter: back in premerton, the knights pulled off a victory in the final moments. coach kennedy led a prayer, not on the 50 yard line, not as a coach, but as a fan. >> that was nbc's joe fryer for us this afternoon. coming up at the top of the hour, american boods on the
ground in syria. some critics say not enough boots, some say there's a lack of clarity in the u.s. mission there. also, updates from the region, the white house and vienna, where talks are happening with iran. and also watching a situation in texas where 19 counties are under a tornado watch right now. that and more after the break. ns with kenny rogers gets old pretty fast? ♪ you got to know when to hold'em. ♪ ♪ know when to fold 'em. ♪ know when to walk away. ♪ know when to run. ♪ you never count your money, ♪ when you're sitting at the ta...♪ what? you get it? i get the gist, yeah. geico. fifteen minutes could save you fifteen percent or more on car insurance. i use what's already inside me to reach my goals. so i liked when my doctor told me i may reach my blood sugar and a1c goals
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that strategy is an important part of the president's top priority, which is the safety and security of the american public. >> so the troops themselves will be stationed themselves in kurdish-controlled northern syria. they will be tasked with helping local forces fight isis. this afternoon, john mccain reacted to the news, saying, unfortunately, this limited action is yet another unsufficient step in the obama administrati administration's policy of gradual escalation. such grudging incrementalism is woefully inadequate to the scale of the challenge we face. we have ron allen at the white house, ali on the phone in vienna where the talks are under way. ron, let me start with you there. again, it seems as if you have these talks that are under way right now, in vienna, but the president saying we're putting boots on the ground. which is it, diplomatic
solution, military solution? >> it's a combined effort to try and solve this problem on both tracks, craig, i think, is the sort answer to that. and we think that this military intensification, which is the word that the white house tends to be using most in describing what they're doing, is happening in part because of the diplomatic push that's going on in vienna. one key element of the vienna talks now is that the iranians are at the table now for the first time. the iranians and the russians are, of course, the syrian regime's best friends anywhere in the world. and while the united states has not said they expect a lot from these talks, they don't think this is the solution necessarily. they remain hopeful, i perhaps can say, that something might happen here. and i think we'll know very soon whether the iranians are going to play a positive role or not in those talks. here, the administration has
been trying to emphasize they've not changed, they say, the military strategy in syria and northern iraq. they say that the core of that strategy is to increase the capacity of local forces, the iraqis and kurds to take on the fight against isis. and that the mission is train and assist. however, what so many military analysts are saying, is that this mission, and now moving more american troops, these 50 or so special operations troops into northern syria, that that essentially is putting them closer to the front line. and that combat is, in fact going on. there's been a lot said about whether this is combat or not combat. whether there are boots on the ground or not. the bottom line is, the administration is taking criticism from all sides. some are saying it's a reneging have gone a promise not to put boots on the ground. some who agree with senator mccain who say this is a
piecemeal step, or not enough. some are calling for a no-fly zone and for safe havens for those fleeing the area. so the administration are saying they're sticking to their strategy. critics say the strategy isn't working. meanwhile, the situation in syria gets worse and worse while you have this diplomatic effort going on. i'm not hearing a lot of optimism that this is going to be the moment that turns things around. >> let's talk about that diplomatic effort for just a moment. ali in vienna, what is the stated goal for these talks and how did iran end up at the table? >> well, craig, i think iran ended up at the table because of russia's influence, because of the enormous amount of influence iran wields and russia and iran
are the two countries giving support. so they were the missing parts, for better or worse. all the powers sitting around the table here, trying to decide how to resolve this conflict in syria, agrees there needs to be a diplomatic process to end the conflict. but they can't agree on what to do with assad. iranians have signalled they would be willing to let assad go, but that's also talk. they would only be willing to let him go, if another government came into power that was very tehran friendly. iran has invested a lot of money and military mite into syria and they don't want to see that disappear with assad. they want to keep their influence there. syria is a strategically very important country, along with iraq, possibly the most
strategic country and they don't want to lose ground. the question, is there anything to be a transition government, how iran will play a role in that. they issued a statement at the end of the day, saying that there needs to be credible, inclusive, non-sectarian governance, followed by a new constitution, new elections for all ethnicities that has to be independently monitored. so that's a step in the right direction. but whether they can follow through on all of these things, because as i said, everybody has vastly different interests in the region, is going to be a different matter. they have agreed to meet again in two weeks' time. so it's going to be a critical period. but as i said, it's going to be very difficult to work this problem out, because the iranians and the russians have very different interests than the americans, the turks, and the gulf arabs. i tried to ask secretary kerry as he was leaving the press
conference, how do his allies feel about iran's presence in the talks and has it helped? and he gave me a cryptic answer, saying, well, they're here. >> thank you both. let's bring in kevin barren, executive editor of defense and war. melissa dalton also joins me. kevin, let me start with you. up to 50 boots on the ground in northern syria. what do you think the practical impact of that will actually be? >> well, the practical impact is both, i think, psychological and real. where the idea is to have americans forward deployed into areas where they can call an air strike, be tied and attached to the local forces fighting there
as well. symbolically, you know, it is a presence in the region. this is not a dramatic shift in strategy. the big, dramatic shift was a couple weeks ago when the administration gave up the idea of training up a massive force, that was a moderate army to take down assad, maybe, but really to go after isis. they gave up that. that was the big shift. this to me is really more of an acknowledgement of what was already happening. fighting terrorism with small special operations forces one at a time, which is something that's frankly not new, but is the way forward. it's what's already happening. not just in syria and iraq. this is the global counterterrorism war. >> but, kevin, you'll concede, though, we're talking about the first boots on the ground in syria, despite the fact that president obama said we wouldn't have boots on the ground in syria. how can we say that's not a dramatic shift. >> well, there already was a raid in syria. so these aren't technically the first boots on the ground even. but a major shift in strategy to
say, we'll put almost 50 special operators forward deployed so they can help. the big shift in strategy was giving up an idea of training thousands. they were supposed to train 15,000. that was the plan. and that's what they just gave up. this is an admission of, all right, we're going to do something that we were doing all along and move forward. we still have not heard the president of the united states say this is combat. they got ash carter to say it and to get the commanders in baghdad to say it after this last mission where an american soldier was killed. because they weren't going to disparage him and say that he wasn't killed in combat. so getting past, is this or is it not combat is one thing. now, getting into how do you take a secret war and make it public? how do we start to characterize and be much more honest about exactly what's happening? the u.s. is involved, u.s. soldiers are involved. by the way, we're only talking
about soldiers. we're talking about title 10. not cia-trained or any other form of american involvement. so there's still a little bit more to be explained, but we'll see in the coming weeks whether they really stick to their guns and start to let us in on this. >> melissa, i want to play an exchange between white house press secretary josh earnest and our own kristin welker. take a listen. >> they will not be in a combat mission -- >> that's not their mission, but they could find themselves in a combat situation just as we saw with the rescue mission? >> there's no denying the amount of risk that they are taking on here. >> melissa, why not just acknowledge that combat is a very real possibility? why is that such a significant psychological hurdle? >> well, the mission, as it's been described, is to help advise the kurdish forces that are there on the ground, which has been the pointy end of the spear for the ground campaign of late in syria.
and so the purpose of those special operators that will be going in, fewer than 50, is to really facilitate the transfer of equipment and to advise those forces. so they'll be in a supporting role. so i think that it is, though, a fine line that the administration is walking in terms of the purpose of those forces on the ground and the fact that they -- i will concede, that they will be much closer to the front lines than they have been previously. >> i don't profess to be a military expert, but if our soldiers are there, and they are fired upon, they are there to advise and support and what not. won't they engage in combat at that point? >> well, it depends on the rules of engagement that they're given to that unit that is engaged. if they are given rules of engagement that allow them to fire back, then they will. and these are the most
proficient, capable forces that the united states has. so they're certainly capable of defending themselves. but i'm sure that given where we are with the coalition, with the campaign, that there are going to be parameters for what the special operators are going to be able to do. >> kevin, how much of this is in response to russia's bombing in syria that started a few weeks ago? >> i think some of it is, you know, the administration found a way to say, well, actually, we are doing a little more than you think we were doing. but it's really not enough. you read john mccain's statement at the top, of him saying this is just more of the drip, drip, incremental. but it depends on what you think success is. john mccain's definition of success is a lot different from president obama. he thinks success is getting to a peaceful solution without using the u.s. military, without soldiers being killed.
which is why this is, i think, as little as you're going to see from the administration. as little. at the same time, there are thousands of air strikes. there's a lot of combat going on. the spokesman in baghdad, the secretary himself, have all acknowledged this is combat. what these guys are doing is combat. you can say it's combat operations. that's all beside the point now. i think going forward, now we know a little bit more clearly, this is what the war in afghanistan looks like, across the middle east and north africa. and it's what it's going to look like for a long time. the national security leaders in the u.s. talk about it and let us know? how will they make what was secret not so secret anymore? >> kevin and melissa, thanks to you both. we're also following breaking news in pennsylvania. military officials have lifted a key portion of the top-secret surveillance blimp that broke
free earlier this week at a military base in maryland. you can see it happening right there. the lifting of that piece of the aforementioned blimp. the blimp left behind a path of destruction, across two states, knocked out power, left thousands of people in the dark. we're told this is the nose portion of that blimp. officials have been working around the clock to recover it. we're also told that the military recovery team will be moving that wreckage to a secure location. up next, the gop versus the rnc. a number of the republican a number of the republican campaigns upset over the debate
-- complaining about what it calls gotcha questions and a mean spirited tone in wednesday night's cnbc debate. this was cnbc's response to the initial post debate criticism. quote, people who want to be president of the united states, should be able to answer tough questions. next news released say statement about the rnc's debate decision, saying, quote, this is a disappointing development. however, along with our debate broadcast partners at tell mundo, we will work in good faith to resolve this matter with the republican party. i'm joined by nbc's chris jansing. specifically, what do the candidates want to see overhauled? >> they want some control. start with that. they feel like they've been left out of the process largely. although the rnc would tell you
throughout the whole period when they were negotiating, they got feedback from the campaigns. but i do know that just last night, the rnc made several calls to the organizers of the meeting and the message to them, you're not invited. as one person put it to me, this offer to help them along is a day late and a dollar short. but to your very specific question, which is what do they want, that's really going to be the fly in the ointment. we all know they want changes. you could see on the debate stage and you could see how unhappy people were with the way things went. different campaigns have different ideas about what these coming debates should look like, how many there should be. you could say generally, some of the campaigns that need help and don't have much money in their coffers might want more debates, because they want more free publicity. others, they want to have that time to be on the campaign trail or raising money. so it's going to be interesting
to see what happens in that room on sunday night and whether they can come to some kind of consensus. >> are all the campaigns going to be there? >> all but one, i'm told. jeb bush's campaign did confirm they're still considering it. one person said they have a lot of strategic decisions they have to make going forward. this is just one of them. but right now, it looks like everybody's going to send a representative, and they're going to try to hammer out something they can put on the desk of the rnc and fox business channel which is going to be the doing the next debate. but the clock is ticking. that's coming up on the 10th. >> what happens if they hammer out a list of demands and they go to the rnc and say, this is what we want, and the rnc says, we're not doing that? >> that's the question. are they say they're going to pull out? will they be willing to enter into some sort of negotiation? that's the key question, not just can they come to some sort of consensus, but what are they willing to do to back it up.
>> chris jansing, thanks so much. let's turn now to the rivalry between jeb bush and marco rubio. that's heating up after a pair of memos added extra spice to the back and forth that was on display at wednesday's debate. first, a leaked bush strategy memo from bush's donor retreat in houston contained a slide that called marco rubio, a risky bet. and also slammed the senator on a number of fronts. now this memo from rubio's pac. hallie jackson has the latest on that. what can you tell us? >> hey there, yeah, notable from the pro-rubio super pac leaves out and that's any mention of jeb bush. it's saying in the view of this super pac, the candidates with the best chance to make it through the rest of the primary season are ben carson, donald trump, ted cruz, and marco
rubio. again, no mention of jeb bush. that says, there is some conflict between the donor relationships potentially. that's an area where you're seeing these two campaigns potentially compete. they're both from florida, looking to court some of those florida establishment donors. but interestingly, when you talk about strategy, that's a telling sign from the super pac, which we should note, obviously is not allowed to coordinate with the campaign itself. but certainly an interesting development as that super pac is previewing one of its first ads it will potentially put out for marco rubio. >> all right, hallie jackson for us there in sioux city, iowa. up next, we'll take you live to texas where evacuations are actively under way. heavy rains sparking flash floods from austin to san antonio. at least two tornadoes have been reported there. and the frightening new look at that massive biker brawl in waco that left nine people dead.
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developing right now, severe storms are pummelling parts of central texas today. possible tornadoes, downpours, dangerous winds, flash flooding there as well. residents along the san marcos and blanco rivers are being evacuated. those rivers, as you can see, swelling to dangerous levels. parts of austin are preparing for what could be eight feet of water in residential neighborhoods. this is a look at one neighborhood in austin. lauren lea is on the ground for us in the un area.
what's happening there now? >> good afternoon. there's a mandatory evacuation in effect for people living along the quad -- guadalupe river. but a lot of people have chosen to say. there was eight to nine inches north of here and all of that water is making its way down here. this is usually a very calm part of guadalupe river, but what we're seeing now is rapids, coming over a dam, eating up boats, anything in its path. it's going under. it's not coming back up. this current is just so strong. the gud lupy county sheriff's office say they're expecting the water to go up to 27 feet. we've been out here a couple hours now. we've not seen a rapid rise of the water where we are, which is good news. good news for the people with whose homes are along the river.
however, there's more rain expected tonight and in the morning. so they're not going to take it easy until they know the threat has passed. i also just got off the phone with the guadalupe county sheriff's office a few minutes ago, they tell me they're keeping an eye on the san marcos river up in the northeastern part of the county. they're evacuating an area there and recently saved two people off a rooftop there. so a lot of problems going on in this area, not to mention the tornado damage in between these two rivers. emergency responders have been very busy overnight and throughout the day. >> as you're talking, we're getting a look at some of the definition there in san antonio, roofs ripped off homes there. other homes we just saw there, leveled in parts of san antonio. as i understand it, where all of this is happening right now, this is not far from the same area where it the least 12 people were killed in flooding back in may. what is it about this particular area that seems to make it so
dangerous? >> you know, there are a lot of low-lying areas in wimberly, where many homes were swept off their foundations over the memorial day weekend flood when the blanco river just went out of control. some of it has to do with terrain. you know, it's really hard to say. not sure how the weather set up overnight versus the one back in may. but these rivers quickly got out of control. we had a lot of rain last week, not any massive flooding like we're experiencing today in these particular areas, although that probably only made it worse having two rain events close together. >> that scene playing out in texas was in columbia, south carolina weeks ago as the floods reeked havoc there. it's amazing how fast that water can accumulate, and the damage
that it can do. not just the amount of water, but the speed at which that water moves. what are we looking at here in texas? >> unfortunately, we do have some more bad news. more storms firing up around austin. hit so hard this morning, the severe weather threat continuing through the afternoon. now we're tracking these storms popping up, moving into the tornado watch area. which continues in effect through the evening hours for austin and areas north and east. obviously we have the flooding. any more rain will only make the flooding worse. you can see a wider view, flash-flood warnings remain in effect through the evening and for areas north of town. dallas, you may see some strong storms moving through over the next few hours in time for the evening commute. we could see delays and the potential for flooding. take a look at how much rain we saw today between austin and san antonio. these colors represent rainfall of over six inches. we've seen up to 11 and 12 inches of rain.
this is estimated from our doppler radar. when you get a foot of rain, of course you'll see that type of flash flooding. so the ground is saturated. any more rain only causing more probl problems as we head into the evening. it's going to be a rough evening across central texas. >> rafael, thank you. up next, more on today's big news out of the white house, announcing a beefed up presence in syria to fight isis. what will that mean for u.s. forces? then we'll turn to politics where a brand new poll shows clinton dominating the field. we're live on the campaign trail just ahead. can a business have a mind?
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pentagon producer courtney cubey and nbc important keir simmons who has done extensive coverage of the civil war in syria. was just there a short time ago. colonel, let me start with you, sir. i want to play just a snippet of something senator lindsey graham said to andrea mitchell just recently. >> this is an incremental change. it will not change the conditions on the ground. in the eyes of the enemy, this is weakness. >> senate graham, of course more hawkish than most. but what say you to what he said there, is that accurate? >> yeah, i think it's an incremental change and i think we're going to have more incremental changes too. i think the secretary of defense de telegraphed that and josh earnest also in the briefing today suggested this might not be the last word. they're trying to do a number of
things, all of which are extremely difficult. one is trying to convince russia and iran that we have some bona fide s. i don't think this is going to change their view. also, trying to change the recruitment and training of people in syria. thus far, we haven't done a very good job there. i think the most significant thing this represents is an attempt to get people on the ground to control any air strikes that we put into the area. but in terms of long-term strategy, this is just a brief tactical change. i'm not convinced we actually have a strategy in any case. i think to that extent, the senator is absolutely correct. what we see is an incremental change, but be ready for more incremental changes. >> courtney, what do we know about what these troops are going to be doing on the ground in syria?
>> well, colonel jacobs is right about this being the first of a series of changes that we're likely to see in the coming months and years ahead with the u.s. military on the ground. so everyone's focusing on up to 50 special forces guys who are going in, in the next month or so. they'll be on the ground there about 60 days at a time. and a senior defense official that we spoke with today said they'll go in, assess the situation, get eyes on the ground and then gauge what's possible. so what does that mean? that means this is just the beginning. what's possible for u.s. troops on the ground there, you know, going forward? what they want to do is somehow find a good, capable partner, a capable local force, whether that is syrian arabs, syrian turkmen, syrian kurds. people who are going to be on the ground as a strong partner in the fight against isis, so they can call in air strikes, which by the way, they're already doing right now, these 50 special ops guys are not
going in to call air strikes. they have syrians do it. and the defense official told us they're doing a very capable job of it. so what does that mean? it means they'll go in, figure out who their strong partners are, and then we'll see things, like an ammo drop two weeks ago. the u.s. providing potentially weapons to some of these groups, more ammo, support, that will help them be the ones on the ground fighting on the front lines. these 50 special ops guys, initially, they'll be there in a train and advise capacity. so they will be forward. they will be boots on the ground in syria, but for now, they're going to go in and they're going to be there helping out the kurds, helping out the syrian arabs, the turkmen to work with them on tactics and figure out the way forward. >> courtney, one of the things that struck me last hour was jim
miklaszewski saying he'd gotten some reporting that it was open-ended in terms of time. this is going to be the case, quote, for the foreseeable future? >> absolutely. a senior defense official told us that as well, that this is going to be, for the foreseeable future, there will be these additional -- it's a small footprint, this additional number of troops going into northern syria. but the significance again, they will be based in northern syria. this is an extremely significant move from where we are a little over a year ago when the u.s. began air strikes in syria and in eiraq. to have troops based at a headquarters with the syrians, syrian opposition, is significant. >> keir, let me bring you in here because we just got this a few moments ago, this joint statement from vienna. got more than a dozen countries meeting there, trying to come up with a diplomatic solution to a conflict lasting more than four years now. of the nine things that these countries have agreed upon, one
of them jumped out at us. state institutions in syria will remain intact. >> yes. exactly right. it does jump out. just to say, though, the point about these countries is that they -- we are talking about states that have vehemently opposed to each other. you have saudi arabia and iran, both involved in these negotiations. we have russia and the u.s. involved in these negotiations. so what you're looking at here is the result of negotiations between folks who don't agree on very much. but what they have agreed on here as you can see, or at least what they're saying they've agreed on, is that the state institutions of syria will remain intact. what's interesting about that, it doesn't say what happens to president assad. so it is possible for the state institutions to remain intact, and for president assad to be removed. and you can see just in that one point the way that they've had to inch to an agreement that suits both sides. because russia and iran can take that and say, look, that means that we've got our way, we
support president assad. and we've got the agreement that his government should stay in place. america can say, well, no, this doesn't mean assad stays. >> and this is coming out a few moments ago, we should note here, bashar al assad, nor president mentioned at all in the communication. big thanks to all of you for joining me. up next, we turn our attention to 2016 politics. hillary clinton specifically, speaking in atlanta today, interrupted by demonstrators with the black lives matter movement. we'll show you how the former secretary of state responded. also steve kornacki will be talking to a member of ben carson's camp about this weekend's meeting between campaigns that are upset over the rnc's handling of the debate so far. beyond natural grain free pet food is committed to truth on the label. when we say real meat is the first ingredient, it is always number one. we leave out poultry by-product meal, corn, wheat and soy.
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speaking out at an atlanta rally this afternoon, hillary clinton was interrupted by chants of "black lives matters." take a listen. >> of the feelings that come forward, and yes, they do. yes, they do. yes, they do. and i'm going to talk a lot about that in a minute. >> nbc national correspondent joy reid is live in atlanta on the hillary beat for us. what happened after that, joy? >> well, craig, hillary clinton had basically just launched into her remarks. she was starting to talk about criminal justice reforms that she hopes to implement as
president of the united states. when that chant that you heard by a group that's called auc shut it down. they're a group pretty well known to people on the three campuses that comprise the aus, the atlanta university center. not long after that hillary clinton because the crowd began to shout down the protesters, chanting, "let her speak" and hillary, hillary, hillary. the protests quieted down. hillary got back into her he marks and got part way through and a second protest by the same group broke out. take a listen. >> i'm sorry, you know, i appreciate their passion, but i'm sorry, they didn't listen. because some of what they've been demanding i am offering and intend to fight for as president. >> reporter: and craig, we did talk to some members of the audience, people who had come to listen to hillary speak.
some students were upset by the protesters. they wanted hillary to continue her remarks. congressman john lewis huddled with the group and talked with them. john lewis has had talks with other blacks lives matter groups before, trying to draw that movement. they also wound up having a huddle with usher, the r&b star who has close ties to atlanta. so he also talked with the group. so we tried to speak with them as well, as they were leaving campus. but the group said they had been through a lot, it had been an intense day and they would be sending out a statement. and we'll bring that to the viewers once we have that. but a very interesting day for hillary clinton. she did continue with her remarks. she seemed to have the support of the crowd. the crowd definitely was on her side today. >> joy reid, thank you. meanwhile, the ben carson campaign, one of those campaigns
leading the charge among the republican 2016 field, to talk about options for changing the debates going forward with a meeting set for this sunday. msnbc's steve kornacki is here with more details on this story, and we'll also be talking to an adviser with the carson campaign. >> that's right, craig. as you say, the controversy here and a meeting set for this sunday between some of the campaigns of some of the republicans in order to address their concerns with the structure and formats of the debates. ben carson this movement the day after this week's debate, saying his campaign would reach out to the others and nbc news now confirms that all of the republican campaigns, except for jeb bush's, who is currently still deciding, are signed up to participate in the summit on sunday. the gathering was first reported by politico. on the agenda, frustrations with the first three debates and potential for change in future debates.
something carson addressed on the campaign trail yesterday. >> specific things we're looking for are, first of all, moderators who are interested in actually getting the facts and not gotcha questions. and we're looking for an opportunity to actually be able to explain what your program is. what your philosophy for leadership is, and then be questioned about it. >> rnc chairman ryan priebus, who was not invited to the meeting, announced this afternoon that the republican national committee is suspending a debate scheduled for february, hosted by nbc news and telemundo, complaining about what it called gotcha questions, and a mean-spirited tone in wednesday night's cnbc debate. cnbc is a sister network of msnbc and nbc. nbc news responding to this, quote, this is a disappointing development. however, along with our debate broadcast partners at telemundo, we will work in good faith to resolve this matter with the republican party.
and this was cnbc's response to the initial post-debate criticism on wednesday. quote, people who want to be president of the united states should be able to answer tough questions. joining me now is dean parker, senior adviser to the ben carson campaign. we first had booked dean to talk about sunday's meeting, but first, dean, i want to get your reaction to that decision from reince priebus and the rnc to suspend the nbc/telemundo debate in february. >> thank you, steve, and it's great being with you this afternoon. we support what the rnc is doing. we led the fight in saying that there needs to be some change. we want the people to hear what all the candidates -- it's a full room of great candidates on the stage and they need to be given a chance to let america hear what they have to say. >> right now, there are ten on the main stage, four or five others in the kid's table. your campaign and trump's
campaign were saying you didn't want it to go alonger thlonger hours. so how can you accommodate that many in a two-hour time frame? >> well, there are questions that need to be answered about economic policy, about leadership, about what type of president they would be. give everybody two, three, four minutes to answer a question, and have some rebuttals and some clarifying questions. and you could get that done in a two-hour period. people need to hear this is the primaries. >> i understand lindsey graham's campaign is going to participate this on sunday, i understand rick santorum as well. they're two candidates not in the main stage debates. would you like to see the future main stage debates opened up to more than ten candidates? >> we're looking for anybody that has a solid record of leadership. if they're a serious candidate, absolutely, they should be given a chance to be heard. the american people will decide and the race will continue to move forward the way it needs to move forward. >> and reince priebus in that statement today also he talked
about -- the suspension pending further discussions between the rnc and the campaigns. has the carson campaign has discussions about its concerns with the rnc and with reince priebus? >> we've shared -- throughout the different campaigns, yes, we've had discussions and shared our concerns. you know, after the last one, we were promised this was going to be on economic issues and not going to be a fight of going after people on certain issues besides the economy and foreign affairs and that's not what happened. so we agreed and we were the ones that asked barry bennett was asked by ben carson to ask the campaigns to get together and discuss a format and see what we need to move forward in a proper way. >> is your campaign and are the other campaigns looking for specific power of veto over moderators for future debates? >> we haven't gotten into the specifics.
you have a republican party full of great candidates. we need to come together, find out the common ground on our concerns and those of us leading the field, can present those concerns back to the rnc and we'll make a decision on how to move forward. >> the next debate is about two weeks from now. fox business channel will be hosting. have you had any conversations, have you heard at all from fox after wednesday's debate? >> we have not spoken with them yet. we've been focusing on obviously our team talking to the american people and continuing to get our word out on what we do on the campaign trail every day. but i'm sure those discussions will happen at some point. our biggest thing right now is to have our meeting that we've called, get all the candidates together, put the concerns on paper and figure out the right strategy moving forward. >> is it possible that if you do not get significant changes to the format for future debates, is it possible that dr. carson
would sit out any of these debates? >> you know, everything's possible. we wouldn't rule anything out at this point. we just have to take it one step at a time as we move forward. too many times we get called into making decisions without all the facts. it's important to get all the facts together right now. >> dean parker from the ben carson campaign, thank you if are your time. appreciate it. >> great to talk to you, steve. have a great afternoon. >> you too. and back to you, craig. >> turning to wall street now, stocks ended up with a big gain. josh is here with the cnbc market wrap. >> u.s. stocks ended lower friday but did close out their best month in four years, helped by a recovery from oil prices and hopes of easing monetary policy. naz dick slipped 21 points. that's it from cnbc. first in business worldwide.
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let's update you right now on the breaking weather situation in texas. we have some aerials now. that's an elementary school in the town of san marcos in central texas. students have been evacuated from that school. that's the result of some heavy rain. the flooding you see there. there are mandatory evacuations in place for the area around the school. at least two tornadoes have been reported in texas today. so far, no reports of injuries. we'll continue to watch what's happening in texas. we are also watching this. a four-alarm fire that is burning in chicago's albany park neighborhood. there it is right there. you can see firefighters on the ground in front of thick, billowing smoke. that blaze started inside a dry
cleaning store. right now, it's ungulfing a strip of store fronts in albany, new york -- excuse me, albany, chicago, that four-alarm fire there. that's going to do it for this hour. i'm craig melvin. "mtp daily" starts right now. >> if it's friday, a major move from the white house. boots on the ground in syria. and on the campaign trail, is this the start of a shake-up for jeb bush's campaign? a senior aide is out on more to come. this is "mtp daily" live from miami, and it starts right now. from the home state and hometown of two of the bigger players in the presidential race, miami, florida. we'll start with a major decision